Group of Michigan students create rentable 'smart bike' - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Group of Michigan students create rentable 'smart bike'

Posted: Updated:
A2B Bikeshare's "smart bike" features a touch screen. A2B Bikeshare's "smart bike" features a touch screen.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) -

It's clean, green and good for your health.  Riding a bike is a popular way to roll, but what if you don't have one?  A group of University of Michigan students came up with the startup A2B Bikeshare to solve that problem.

"Bike share trips replace car trips.  They create healthier people by being active in the community.  When you are riding, you aren't driving saving CO2," said Ansgar Strother.

He is a computer engineering major who took a look at bike sharing for a class project, then decided to make it a business.  He and his team designed a prototype of a smart bike with built-in solar panel, lock and touch screen that people can rent for about $5 an hour.

"Now that the bike is smart, you can use the touch screen on it to do things like Google maps, guided tours for tourists and proximity advertisements to help pay through the system's operation making it more affordable for communities to put in," Strother said.

The bike itself is expensive.  It costs about $2,000.  But the students say thefts are rare.  In Denver, which has 500 bikes for rent, there was only theft in a year.  Just in case, there is a GPS tracking device welded onto the bike that is hard to remove.

"In order to check out the bike, you have to have your credit card information entered in," Strother explained.  "That way if you don't return the bike -- it gets lost, stolen, damaged beyond use -- you're then responsible by your credit card."

Ann Arbor actually has a separate bike sharing program in the works.  The smart bike wasn't ready when that was being developed, but the A2B Bikeshare guys are talking with other cities, including Lansing, to get their bike on the road.

U of M also has 15 bikes available for students for $5 a day, $11 a weekend or $75 per semester.  Riders also get a lock and a helmet.

Other schools and communities are also looking into bike sharing.  It's an eco-friendly idea that could soon come to a city near you.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Neighbors tie pink ribbons to remember murdered Armada teen

    Neighbors tie pink ribbons to remember murdered Armada teen

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:48:30 GMT
    The community in Armada Township is pulling together to support the family of murdered 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The community in Armada Township is pulling together to support the family of murdered 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:38:56 GMT
    As of 4 p.m., approximately 126,000 DTE Energy customers are out of power due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 60,000 of the customers impacted by the storm.
    As of 4 p.m., approximately 126,000 DTE Energy customers are out of power due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 60,000 of the customers impacted by the storm.
  • Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:46:07 GMT
    How is Proposal One tied into funding our local schools, police and fire departments, plus should African Americans abandon the Democratic Party and the UAW?
    How is Proposal One tied into funding our local schools, police and fire departments, plus should African Americans abandon the Democratic Party and the UAW?

Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices